Hong Kong mulls internet ban after mask ban fails

Updated: Oct 08, 2019, 14:46 IST | Agencies |

In a radio interview Monday, Ip Kwok-him, a veteran pro-Beijing politician and member of Hong Kong's executive council, fuelled those concerns when he said controls on the internet could be introduced

This combination of pictures shows protesters wearing face masks during demonstrations in Hong Kong. File pic/AFP
This combination of pictures shows protesters wearing face masks during demonstrations in Hong Kong. File pic/AFP

Hong Kong: The government in Hong Kong may censor the Internet in a bid to contain months of increasingly violent pro-democracy protests, a cabinet member said on Monday, after an emergency-law ban on demonstrators wearing face masks failed to quell the unrest.

In a radio interview Monday, Ip Kwok-him, a veteran pro-Beijing politician and member of Hong Kong's executive council, fuelled those concerns when he said controls on the internet could be introduced. "At this stage, the government will consider all legal means to stop the riots. We would not rule out a ban on the internet," Ip told Commercial Radio. The internet has been crucial to protesters, who have no public leaders and use online forums and encrypted messaging apps to mobilise.

Meanwhile, two protesters were charged on Monday with violating Hong Kong's new ban on wearing masks at rallies. An 18-year-old student and a 38-year-old unemployed woman were the first to be prosecuted under the ban, which came into force Saturday under sweeping emergency powers aimed at quashing violence in the protests for more democratic freedoms.

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